Derwentwater is one of the most popular and attractive of the Lake District lakes but a complete circuit is rare. The reason for this is the proximity of the road to the eastern shore. However there is an excellent circuit.
Over 40 years I have walked the shores of Derwentwater but I have never walked the complete circuit. It took a group of walkers from Sweden to convince me it was a good plan.
There are many different options around the lake and each is full of interest. However we took the route lakeside to Ashness Bridge and Surprise View. From here we dropped down to near the large hotel of Lodore Swiss, crossed the valley and then climbed Catbells. The descent from Catbells is steep but soon joins the Cumbria Way, Portinscale and back to Keswick.
There are two obvious options to this. On the east shores a climb of Walla Crag is definitely preferable (marked on the map) whilst on the western side an excellent low level path (not on the shore itself) cuts across the flanks of Catbells.
Shepherd’s Cafe at Lodore Farm makes a great break half way round the walk, particularly in good weather. Simple food and drink, saves the packed lunch.
The trickiest section is the path down to the valley from above Surprise View. It is also the quietest section, away from the crods at all time of the year.
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